One call meant food for her family

United Way for Greater Austin advances our mission bringing our community together to break economic barriers and build opportunity for all using four strategies. One of those is services and support.

United Way envisions a Central Texas where everyone has an opportunity to thrive. And 2024 marks an important milestone for us: 100 years serving the community! As we reflect on a century of change and a legacy of impact, our new strategic plan lays a strong foundation for our next 100 years. 

Our new strategic plan galvanizes our promise to realize a future where every child is set up for success with high-quality early care and education – in a community where everyone is connected to the essential resources they need, when they need them. Our services and support strategy unites us toward our vision of a Central Texas where everyone has an opportunity to thrive.

One example of our work in services and support is our Navigation Center, which paved the way for connecting local families and individuals to resources in our region. For more than 25 years, we have served as a 24/7 helpline that connects people right here in our community to more than 30,000 resources. Last year, we answered more than 200,000 requests for help – that’s one call every two minutes.

United Way programs like Family Connects and the Parenting Students Project also provide health and education services to families in our region. Beyond providing essential support directly to families and individuals, we invest in more than 50 organizations who provide resources.

In every service we provide, our community knows they will receive an answer. Through our 2-1-1 helpline, clients receive access to resources like housing, health care, income support and employment, utilities, food, and more.


Last year, food was one of the top 5 needs of our region. Among the food requests we received last year, a call came in from Rosa. Rosa had always been proud to cook nutritious, authentic Mexican meals for her family that honored her roots. Then, her monthly food assistance was cut by 75%. At the same time, the cost of those sustainable foods was rising. Immediate worry sank in: how would she continue to provide healthy, nutritious food for her kids?

With one call to our 24/7 2-1-1 helpline, Rosa not only received access to a food program that would help her funds go three times as far, but we also found the nearest eligible location for her and even ensured she had reliable transportation.

The very next day, Rosa went to the farmer’s market. To her surprise, she received more funds than she expected — over $40 for fresh fruits and vegetables to feed her children that month.

Before calling United Way, Rosa described the stress of providing healthy, nutritious food to her family as a constant heavy weight on her. The assistance she received meant more than access to quality food: it lifted the burden of uncertainty about where that sustainable food would come from. It created trust that when she reached out for help to her community, she would receive it. She would receive more than she imagined.

Understanding the difference this made in her life, Rosa made a commitment to let other mothers know about United Way’s helpline. The power of community helped fulfill her family’s most essential need. Her hope is that all mothers have equitable access to the same resources.

For 100 years, United Way has championed the collective power of gathering and giving to strengthen our community through programs and services like our Navigation Center. With access to essential resources, Rosa and her family have an opportunity to thrive.

United Way envisions our next century as one characterized by innovation, inclusivity, and an even more profound community impact. We stand as a beacon, guiding the way toward a future where everyone in Greater Austin has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Now, in a time where community is more important than ever, we invite you to be a part of ours. 

Give. Advocate. Volunteer.

Read another story about our work in programs and services

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